A cloud of smoke billowed out within seconds of severe turbulence on a Hawaiian Airlines flight last month, injuring 25 people, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.
18 flight from Phoenix to Honolulu told investigators that flight conditions were smooth with clear skies when a cloud appeared in front of the plane and there was no time to change course, the report said.
He called the lead flight attendant and told him there might be turbulence. The report stated that within one to three seconds, the aircraft encountered “severe turbulence”.
Shortly afterwards, the chief flight attendant told the crew that there were multiple injuries in the passenger cabin.
Reports said that 25 of the 291 passengers and crew members were injured, including four passengers and two crew members seriously. The aircraft sustained minor damage.
Tiffany Reyes, one of the passengers taken to hospitals, said the next day that she had just returned to her seat from the bathroom and was about to fasten her seatbelt when the flight sank.
In an instant, Reyes said she found herself on the floor of the corridor, with cave-in ceiling panels and a tattered bathroom sign that was hanging.
“I asked everyone around me, ‘Was that me?’ Reyes said. “He said that I had apparently been blown into the ceiling and slammed to the ground.”
Reyes said that he initially thought that something had hit the plane and it had crashed, and that they were going to die, as he had never encountered anything so violent in flight.
“It’s the most terrifying experience I’ve had in my entire 40 years of life,” Reyes said.
John Snook, chief operating officer of Hawaiian Airlines, said at the time that such turbulence was unusual, noting that the airline had not experienced anything like it in recent history. At that time there was a sign to fasten the seatbelt.